I have a custom function in my theme that creates a dynamic sitemap.xml file.

For that I'm using $myVar = get_posts( array(...) ). In that array I need to exclude some pages.

I want to exclude some parent page and all its children pages.

I want to use only parent page slug to get an array of all the IDs of the parent and the children.

The problem: the 'exclude' => in the array() accepts only an array of IDs. Not slugs.

How can I achieve it with some function (or some other way) to return an array of IDs by parent page slug including parent ID and all its children?

For the example let's say the parent page slug is abc.

Thanks ahead.

1 Answer 1


You can use get_page_by_path() to get a Page's WP_Post object using its slug (ie, its path), and then use that object to then get the array of child page IDs using get_children().

// First we'll create the list of posts (pages) to exclude.
$exclude = array();
$parent_page_obj = get_page_by_path( 'abc' );
if ( ! empty( $parent_page_obj ) ) {
    $parent_id = $parent_page_obj->ID;
    // Adds the parent page to the $exclude array.
    $exclude[] = $parent_id;
    $args = array(
        'post_type'   => 'page',
        'post_parent' => $parent_id,
        'numberposts' => -1,
    $children = get_children( $args );
    foreach ( $children as $child ) {
        $exclude[] = $child->ID;

// Now you can use the $exclude array in your get_posts() call.
$get_posts_arg = array(
    // All your existing arguments here.
    'exclude' => $exclude,
$my_posts = get_posts( $get_post_args );

Get all children and grandchildren, yea, unto the nth generation

The code below uses recursion to get the children of the children, until you run out of children. I've tested it quickly in a local WP installation, and it worked to a depth of 5 generations.

It should work for what you're doing, but be aware that recursion can lead to infinite loops, so please test it in a non-production site before you put it into production.

 * Gets all the descendants of a give page slug.
 * @param  int|string $id   The ID or slug of the topmost page.
 * @param  array      $kids The array of kids already discovered. Optional.
 * @return array            The array of kids found in the current pass.
function wpse365429_get_kids( $id, $kids = null ) {
    if ( empty( $kids ) ) {
        $kids = array();
    if ( is_string( $id ) ) {
        $obj = get_page_by_path( $id );
        if ( ! empty( $obj ) ) {
            $id = $obj->ID;
    if ( ! in_array( $id, $kids ) ) {
        $kids[] = $id;
    $child_pages = get_children( $id );
    if ( ! empty( $child_pages ) ) {
        foreach ( $child_pages as $child ) {
            $kids = wpse365429_get_kids( $child->ID, $kids );

    return $kids;
$exclude = wpse365429_get_kids( 'abc' );
// From this point, you can use the $exclude array as you did in the
// previous code snippet.
  • Thank you very much! It did the trick, but only to direct children of that page. Sorry if was't clear enough by writing and its all children. I also have sub pages in the sub pages (Grandchildren). Any way to include absolutely all pages that are inside "abc" page?
    – Victor
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 22:23
  • I've updated my answer. Please note that you should definitely test it first, before you put it into production.
    – Pat J
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 2:35

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